Review: Salon, by Helen Casey, Pulse Fringe Festival, Ipswich, June 7

Salon, by Helen Casey, Pulse Fringe Festival, Ipswich, June 7

Linda Hinchcliffe offers a “professional” haircutting service from the comfort of your own home. Trouble is she can’t keep her hands off her male clients.

Staged in the kitchen of an end-of-terrace house – the latest in a string of unusual venues in the history of Pulse – the play leans on the importance we attach to getting our hair cut and styled (if we have any hair).

Hairdressers all over the world are revered, largely by women but also by some men, as key figures – along with beauty consultants and cosmetic surgeons - in the provision or preservation of good looks and attractiveness.

Linda wants to use her haircutting skills to change the lives of anyone who doesn’t fancy a trip to the high street salon particularly, as she says, if they are shy, housebound or a little bit peculiar.

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Casey becomes actor as well as writer, creating a wise-cracking Linda, never short of an inappropriate gag, straight off streets of any northern town or city.

Victoria Andrews plays Linda’s niece and much put upon assistant, a sulky, bored, exasperated and rather hostile girl who knows her aunt’s foibles only too well.

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This was a witty piece of drama, staged to a capacity audience (12) shoe-horned into a real kitchen. Great fun.

David Green

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